Each week hundreds of millions of Americans turn to the radio for its easy to use convenience and the fact that it’s free. According to Nielsen’s Audio Today 2019 report, 92% of the population in America still listens to radio every week. This is approximately 272 million people.

Tips on How Radio Media Tours (RMTs) Can Help Your Brand as America Heads to a Post-Pandemic World

With such a big listening audience, radio is undoubtedly one of the best mediums for advertising. All it takes is the push of a button to share a brand’s message to this enormous market.

The U.S. is heading towards a world again that existed before the pandemic which means more people will be back in their cars. In-car consumption makes up the largest slice of the radio listening pie and COVID-19 had disrupted this.

“Prior to COVID-19 restrictions in Q2 2020, 32% of all audio in the U.S. was consumed in-car,” reported Edison Research in 2020.

The report said, “When quarantine restrictions went into place in Q2, erasing many Americans’ commutes and reducing travel in-car listening plummeted by 38% so that it accounted for only 20% of all listening. This caused at-home listening in Q2 to soar from 49% of all listening to 70% of all listening, an increase of 43%.”

Then in September, the firm released another report that showed the shift was moving back to the car as quarantine restrictions eased in some locations.

“In-car listening grew from 20% in Q2 to 28% today,” the report stated. At-home listening levels fell from 70% early in the quarantine period to 59% of all listening today, the report added.

As more vaccines roll out and more restrictions are lifted, Americans are going to find safety again being out on the roads and radio consumption in these vehicles may skyrocket.

Brands need to think strategically and with radio having such a tremendous market in and out of the car, using Radio Media Tours (RMTs) are a cost efficient way to spread campaign messages and stories.

RMTs are not only a great value for the money but are personable, giving a spokesperson an opportunity to connect with the host and the listeners of a station.

In a series of back-to-back radio interviews, RMTs allow a spokesperson to be interviewed by multiple radio stations and/or networks within just a few hours. They take about two to four hours of the spokesperson’s time, depending on how many interviews are completed and interviews are typically booked in ten-minute windows.

Compared to an audio news release or soundbite, RMTs also are helpful in that they offer more time on air to convey the brand’s story and message. Plus, this powerful advertising vehicle reaches morning shows, public affair shows, and are used as a way to disseminate a news story.

Here are 5 tips for any brand that is considering an RMT in their future advertising campaign. 

#1 Define your message and your target audience. Whether you are raising awareness about a cause, a product, or a service, you want to identify and prioritize the key components of this message. Which audience or listeners do you want to reach? Any areas? What demographic or age population are you focused on? Is there a call to action needed? 

#2 Choose your spokesperson. The spokesperson in your RMT will be the person the audience is going to be connecting with and getting intimate with. You want the perfect person to tell your story. Someone who may be an authority on the topic, or a celebrity, or is well known so the audience can feel confident about them. You will want to research with this spokesperson and perhaps offer media training so that they have the best on-air experience when delivering your message.

#3 Choose a Vendor

You want to pick a broadcast specialist that has established relationships with radio stations and has experience pitching the message that you have. You will want to make sure they can identify and target the outlets they will pitch, make sure you are updated along the way, follow up on recorded interviews, and report any results.

#4 Work with this Vendor to Make an Effective Media Alert

The broadcast specialist you choose will work closely with you to frame the interview opportunity so that it attracts producers and directors of radio stations. Using an effective media alert, or press release, will grab the attention of these producers and get you noticed with their station. You want to make sure the topic is relevant, who your spokesperson is, the dates and times available, and how to book the interview(s). You also want a photo of your spokesperson.

#5 Preparing for the Day of the Radio Media Tour 

It’s finally here, the day your message and story are going to be shared with millions of people. You want to make sure that your spokesperson uses a clear landline in a quiet space. They may also use a Skype connection. If there is any bad cell phone connection or too much background noise, a radio station will probably pull the plug on your interview early. Be able to provide the spokesperson with the entire day’s schedule and plan out when they will have excellent opportunities for water breaks or bathroom visits. 

With many tools available when it comes time to let the world know what you do or what you are selling, RMT’s give brands a chance to connect with listeners meaningfully and are one of the smartest methods for gaining exposure.